An in-depth look at how Touch ID, A7, and Secure Enclave boost iOS security

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2014

We know quite a lot about the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint scanner, Touch ID. The advanced sensor works seamlessly and learns more about your prints over time so it continues to expand your fingerprint map as additional overlapping nodes are identified with each use.

It can match prints in any orientation, unless your fingers are greasy or wet, or there’s some dirt or debris on the Home button. There’s a 1 in 50,000 chance of a successful random match with someone else’s print, which is much better than the 1 in 10,000 odds of guessing a typical four-digit passcode.

The Touch ID sensor doesn’t store actual fingerprint images and instead creates an encrypted profile of your print and stores it on a module on the A7 processor called the Secure Enclave that’s walled off from the rest of the system.

After five unsuccessful fingerprint match attempts, or after every restart, the system asks for your passcode  so that hackers can’t stall for time. These are pretty much key pieces of information on Touch ID that was made public since its inception.

Today, Apple updated its iOS Security white paper [PDF download] with a few previously unknown specifics relating to how Touch ID works side by side with the A7 chip and its Secure Enclave portion to detect a fingerprint match in a highly secure manner. The document also details other security safeguards Apple put in place to prevent tampering with fingerprint data… Read More

 

BattSaver for iOS 7: manage your iPhone’s radios to increase battery life

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 23, 2014

BattSaver, a battery saving jailbreak app that we reviewed in-depth a couple of years ago, has been updated for iOS 7 compatibility. It’s basically the same jailbreak release that we reviewed before, except this time around it works for iOS 7 and arm64 devices like the iPhone 5s.

As we explained in our initial review, BattSaver isn’t necessarily performing any magic, it just manages the radios on your device in such a way so that you can save battery life. Many of the same strategies are incorporated in this updated version of BattSaver, including Normal and Aggressive battery saving strategies. Have a look inside for more details. Read More

 

How to get a semi-working Photo Booth port on the iPhone

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 17, 2014

Photo Booth—it’s one of the iPad only apps that sort of gets lost in the shuffle when talking about stock apps. It’s an app that people play with when they first get their iPad’s only to never really touch it again. Despite that, there always seems to be a concerted effort amongst members of the jailbreak community to port Photo Booth to the iPhone.

Two years ago, Photo Booth was ported to the iPhone 4S with much fan fare. Today, it’s been ported to iPhone’s running iOS 7. The good news is that it more or less works like you’d expect. The bad news is that, at least in its current form, it’s a buggy mess devoid of many of the effects found on the iPad version. Have a look at our video walkthrough past the break to see what I mean. Read More

 

Best Buy to start discounting iPhones $50 this weekend

By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2014

Folks looking to score an iPhone in the near future may want to check out their local Best Buy. Starting Sunday, February 16, the retailer will start discounting iPhone models by $50 as long as they’re purchased with a two-year contract.

The promotion will apply to all late iPhone models, for subscribers on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. And to give you an idea of what it will look like, the 16GB iPhone 5 will come down to free, the 5c $50, and the iPhone 5s $150… Read More

 

Good deal: 35% off this MacGyver-approved multitool iPhone case

By Cody Lee on Feb 12, 2014

About a year ago, we wrote an article about an Indiegogo project that was looking to fund production of a multitool iPhone case. We referred to it as a combination between a Swiss Army knife and a case, as it features a knife blade, screwdriver and various other handy tools.

That project went on to get funded, and the TaskOne case is now for sale. And wouldn’t you know it, Stack Social is running a deal on it. So for those of you who were interested in picking one of these up for your iPhone 5 or 5s, you can now do so at a nice 35% discount… Read More

 

Despite the bigger screen, iPhone 6 could be lighter than 5s

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2014

With a 4.7-inch and a massive 5.5-inch iPhone versions reportedly in the pipeline, you’d expect both new iPhones to be a tad heavier than the current-gen four-inch iPhone 5s, simply due to a larger and thereby heavier enclosure/screen assembly.

Not so fast.

According to a new report, Apple’s engineers are scrambling to slim down next-generation iPhones by switching to a lighter backlight module and possibly using a lighter device frame, too… Read More

 

Target launches time-limited deals on iOS devices

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 7, 2014

Target, the nation’s second-largest discount retailer, is launching some pretty interesting deals on Apple’s iOS devices. Starting this coming Sunday, February 9, and through next week’s Saturday, February 15, customers in the market for an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air and any iPad mini can get discounts in the form of gift cards.

The time-limited promotion will see some of these devices discounted by as much as $50 versus Apple’s asking prices. Jump past the fold for the full per-product breakdown… Read More

 

University of Wisconsin takes Apple to court over A7′s performance-enhancing tricks

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

The University of Wisconsin via its patent-licensing arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company’s in-house designed A7 chip infringes the foundation’s patent designed to improve “the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors” by introducing a new process for allowing quicker execution of processor instructions.

It’s been reported Monday that Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, which acts as the primary engine driving the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display, apparently uses this technology without permission… Read More

 

Mesalation: set a passcode grace period with Touch ID enabled

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 3, 2014

Mesalation is brand new jailbreak tweak from developer r_plus that allows you to get back the passcode grace period list when using Touch ID. Enabling Touch ID on the iPhone 5s forces iOS to require a passcode immediately and there are no options otherwise.

If you’re someone who likes to use Touch ID, but don’t necessarily like the idea of having to verify every time your device is locked, Mesalation is the jailbreak tweak for you. Have a look at our walkthrough inside for more details on how the tweak works. Read More

 

Apple celebrates Mac’s 30th anniversary with new video shot entirely on iPhone 5s, edited on Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

OK, Apple didn’t exactly return to Super Bowl with a 30th Mac anniversary ad like advertising legend Lee Clow a week ago hinted it would, but that doesn’t mean the company is letting the Super Bowl ad blitz mute its message.

Not only did Apple celebrate the occasion by letting ABC News and MacWorld interview CEO Tim Cook, it also posted an interactive Mac timeline on Apple.com and a new ‘Happy Birthday, Mac’ section on the Mac App Store, dressed up retail stores’ window displays in Mac-themed graphics and hung commemorative posters up on the walls of its Cupertino HQ.

The company even hid a custom font on its servers featuring gorgeous Mac model icons. And now, Apple has posted a new video on its homepage dedicated to the 30 years of Mac innovation. The 125-second clip was shot entirely on iPhones and edited on Macs, have a look at it right below the fold and meet us in comments… Read More

 

Virgin knocks another 20% off its iPhone selection

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2014

Yesterday, Cody informed you of Virgin Mobile’s iPhone deal: the Sprint-owned MVNO has shaved another ten percet off its iPhone selection, bringing the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5s down to $495. The 32GB iPhone 5s was slashed to $585 and the 64GB variant dropped to $675, the latter just a little bit more than what you’d normally pay for an off-contract 16GB iPhone 5s.

I’m not sure whether Apple’s earnings report had anything to do with it, but Virgin on Tuesday knocked another 20 percent off these devices. The discount extends to the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4 as well… Read More

 

Moshi launches flip cover iPhone case with embedded sensors

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2014

Accessory maker Moshi on Tuesday announced a new flip cover case for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. The TouchSense, as the name implies, allows you to answer incoming phone calls and silence alarms without having to open the cover.

This nice feat has been accomplished by putting Moshi’s proprietary touch-sensitive SensArray plates on the front cover, right where iOS 7′s slide-to-unlock (or answer) thingie appears.

And what happens should Apple change the Lock screen UI in the future? I guess Moshi’s engineers haven’t bothered themselves with such mundane concerns… Read More

 

Virgin Mobile now offering unsubsidized iPhone 5s for $495, 5c for $405

By Cody Lee on Jan 27, 2014

Folks in the market for a prepaid iPhone may want to check out Virgin Mobile. The Sprint networked-backed MVNO has just shaved another 10% off its iPhone selection, bringing about some of the cheapest unsubsidized prices we’ve seen for the handset.

The discount brings the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5s down to $495, and the 32GB 5s down to $585. And if you want to go for the 64GB model, it’ll only cost you $675—just a little bit more than you’d normally pay for a 16GB full retail… Read More

 

Best Buy hosting 2-day sale: $50 off iPad Air, $30 off original iPad Mini

By Cody Lee on Jan 23, 2014

Those in the market for a new iPad Air or a first generation iPad mini may want to check with their local Best Buy this weekend. The retailer is hosting a 2-day sale that will see all models of the two tablets discounted up to $50.

Running Friday and Saturday only, the sale covers all configurations of the iPad Air and original iPad mini. So for example, a 16GB Wi-Fi only Air would only cost you $450. The iPad mini, with its discount, will start at $279… Read More

 

iPhone 5s owners guzzling up 20 percent more data than iPhone 5 users

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2014

A new research report from JDSU has revealed that owners of the iPhone 5s are gobbling up 20 percent more data compared to people who own an iPhone 5. This means that for every five megabytes (or gigabytes) of cellular data consumed by an iPhone 5 owner, an additional megabyte (or gigabyte) gets guzzled up by an iPhone 5s owner.

In fact, looking at the list of top ten devices that downloaded most data in 2013, Apple’s iOS gadgets took six slots. I’m guessing Tim Cook is smiling as we speak for this survey is another sign of Apple’s devices getting far more actual use compared to Android-driven handsets, Android’s lead in terms of sheer volume notwithstanding… Read More

 

Good deal: 65% off 6-piece iPhone photography lens kit

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2014

If you’re an avid iPhone photographer and find that the handset’s tiny lens just isn’t cutting it anymore, there are a number of add-on lens kits to choose from. Olloclip makes several, Sony makes one, and there are countless options from lesser-known brands.

These kits usually only contain a couple of lenses, but a company called Bazaared is taking things a step further with its Ultimate iPhone Lens Kit. It includes 5 lenses, a tripod and carrying case, and it’s being heavily discounted right now over at Stack SocialRead More

 

How to make “slide to unlock” appear immediately on the iPhone 5s

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 21, 2014

NoDelay64 is a recently released jailbreak tweak for iPhone 5s owners. It’s a tweak that removes the delay from the appearance of the “slide to unlock” on Touch ID enabled devices.

Apple adds a delay to the famous “slide to unlock” text, because it assumes that most iPhone 5s users with Touch ID enabled will be using Touch ID instead. This new tweak gets rid of that delay with a simple Cydia install. Have a look past the jump to see how it works on video. Read More

 

How to emulate the iPhone’s Sleep button with the proximity sensor

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 18, 2014

SleekSleep is a recently released jailbreak tweak that allows you to emulate a press of the sleep button by means of the iPhone’s proximity sensor. This basically means that you can sleep or wake your iPhone using a wave or swiping motion in front of the device.

As we always like to do here at iDB, we’ve taken the liberty to record a walkthrough of SleekSleep so that you can see exactly how it works. Take a look past the break to see this interesting tweak in action. Read More

 

Tim Cook signs iPhones at China Mobile launch, says ‘great things’ coming

By Cody Lee on Jan 17, 2014

China Mobile‘s highly anticipated iPhone launch is now in full swing over in Beijing. After years of failed negotiations, Apple finally inked a deal with the carrier last month, giving it access to the worlds-largest subscriber base of 750+ million people.

We’ve been talking about the importance of this partnership for months now, but for those that needed a reminder, Tim Cook showed up in person at this morning’s launch. The CEO took photos, signed autographs and even answered a few questions… Read More

 

Skype gains push notifications for chats, two-way video calling in HD on A7 devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2014

Skype for iPhone rolled out the ability to conduct two-way video chatting back in December 2010, but the quality of these video calls left a lot to be desired. Back then, the iPhone 4′s back camera could only capture video in 720p and the front-facing camera was good only for VGA-grade video chatting.

Besides, the handset lacked the processing power to make two-way video calling in high-definition a reality.

Today’s update to Skype’s free iPhone and iPad client brings HD video calling to the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, along with an improved chatting experience and more… Read More